Tuesday
Oct202015

Chambers of Commerce set lobbying agenda in Ottawa

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Ottawa this past weekend. What happens at this meeting? This year over 325 delegates representing 150 chambers of commerce and boards of trade gathered in the nation’s capital for two days. The goal was to set the lobbying agenda for the Canadian Chamber to bring forward to the federal government.

It was a pretty unique time to be in Ottawa, leading up to the 42nd Federal Election, but more importantly the Canadian business community represented through the Chamber of Commerce leaders and board volunteers voted in favour of around 50 resolutions.  

Among the policy resolutions approved by the delegates were three directly involving the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.  

  1. Energy East, which asked the government to support the project as an economic driver while ensuring responsible management of the environment and other concerns.  This resolution was brought forward with co-sponsors The Saint John Region Chamber, Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec, Belleville & District Chamber, Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Regina Chamber of Commerce, and Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. The nationwide support for this resolution speaks to the jobs the project will create, including 250 jobs in Peterborough and allow for Canadian oil to be moved and used in Canada with greater efficiency.  
  2. Canada Pension Plan, which asks that employees be allowed to increase their portion of the contribution to CPP to discourage provinces from starting to implement their own plans. Peterborough was a co-sponsor with the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. 
  3. Infrastucture, which stressed the importance of a solid plan for the economy (this was put forward by the London Chamber of Commerce and supported by 21 Ontario Chambers). 

Thank you to the Peterborough Chamber Policy Committee for their input on these resolutions.

Also now on the books are policies that start to address how businesses of all sizes feel the government should move forward with clean technology, innovation funding, research funding, improving the tax statutes, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, improving communication between the rail industry and business,  greenhouse gas emissions, and collection of taxes from foreign companies for online sales.   

The largest number of resolutions this year focused on trade, including trade with the U.S and the Asia-Pacific. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal was a large part of the discussion.  

By the time the policy resolutions were all debated and voted on, the delegates left Ottawa giving the Canadian Chamber of Commerce a solid plan to bring the message of the business community to Parliament Hill.  

"The CCC AGM is the Parliament of Business,” says Stuart Harrison, President and CEO, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “Policy Analyst Sandra Dueck is the Chair of the Ontario Caucus and led the Ontario delegates including incoming Board Chair Jason Becker in the voting process and strategy.”

The approved policy resolution book will be online shortly and we will be posting it to our Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as, peterboroughchamber.ca  

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